English | Dzongkha Thursday, November 21, 2019

Telemedicine- a healthy habit of using social media


Oct 19, 2019

One of the effective ways of using the social media platform today is telemedicine. According to the health ministry, over the times more than 2,500 teleconsultations were carried out in the country which was collected from 35 health facilities identified as Telemedicine sites.

These statistics mostly include telephone consultations, while some were carried out using social media, mostly WeChat and Facebook messenger. Telemedicine allows the healthcare provider to exchange valid information for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment without the need for an in-person visit.

“Telemedicine is very important now because we have high bandwidth connectivity, for example, Druk Research and Education Network being developed by Department of Information Technology and Telecom at the MOIC. With this kind of network, we can have improved telemedicine services. They can provide faster video conferencing, quality video and quality images,” said Tashi Duba, a Senior Programme Officer at the Ministry of Health.

He says even doctors have limitations so telemedicine is the best way to consult an experienced specialist when in need. However, telemedicine also has its own drawbacks.

“Whenever we set up technologies we need equipment and for that, we need a budget so this is one prominent challenge we face. We don’t have trained people to use the telemedicine system and telecommunication technology is not readily available in all the facilities. So these are three major challenges right now,” he added.

To further enhance the use of telemedicine, the first-ever telemedicine workshop with assistance from the Kyushu University hospital in Japan was also held in the capital on October 15.

 Kelzang Choden

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